Photo courtesy of Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery

GuidesLos Angeles

Where to Get Burgers, Pasta, Dumplings, and More in Pasadena


Just 11 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena has developed along a very different path than its neighbor to the west. The city is smaller and quieter, with more of a neighborhood feel, yet it has hosted the world-famous Rose Parade every New Year’s Day for over a century, and is home to both CalTech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In fact, Pasadena remains a destination for lovers not only of theater, art, and architecture, but of culinary diversity too. 

Packed into the city’s Old Town alone is everything from craft cocktail bars and third-wave coffee houses to Vietnamese restaurants and Michelin-rated Italian pasta bars. Venture deeper into Pasadena and you’ll find a legendary burger joint and some of the most exciting Cantonese cooking in the country.

It’s a lot to digest, so where do you start? Here are 12 of our picks for a little taste of everything Pasadena has to offer.